A suburban Chuck E. Cheese officials say has been a problem since it opened in the mid-80s will close after a patron was recently shot after leaving the establishment, officials announced Wednesday.
Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury says the latest incident happened after the victim left the arcade and pizza place and headed into nearby Evergreen Park on West 95th Street. The shooting, along with a large fight outside the Chuck E. Cheese location in 2014, and more than 40 police calls to the establishment this year, had the mayor and trustees saying they wanted to revoke the restaurant’s license.
“A car came up and shot their car up with bullets,” Bury told NBC 5. “I am hearing up to 13 bullets were put in the car—and I’ve learned today there were two minors in the car—that’s terrible.”
Trustee and former police officer Terry Vorderer says he doesn’t know another solution to the problem.
“It’s not my job to find a solution,” he told NBC 5. “It’s their job, it’s their business, it’s their business model—it’s my job to provide a safe environment for the patrons of Chuck E. Cheese.”
Wednesday afternoon the village said in a press release it had been "advised be CEC Entertainment that it has initiated discussions to move out of Oak Lawn. In light of this, the village is presently working out an agreement that will move this process as expeditious as possible prior to calling for further disciplinary proceedings.
Evergreen Park Police say the victim, a Chicago man, received treatment at Christ Hospital for injuries to his lip and lower back before being released. Police say the man would not make any further statements about the shooting and declined to sign criminal complaints.
A Chuck E. Cheese spokesperson said in a statement that the company is aware of the shooting.
“We have confirmed that there was no altercation or issue at our restaurant and we were not involved in this incident,” the statement reads. “As a long-time business in the community, we are fully cooperating with the Evergreen Park Police Department in their investigation. We also want to assure parents and caregivers that we take great measures to protect the experience that children and families have in our restaurants.”
Evergreen Park Police say they are continuing to investigate the shooting.